Sunday, January 6, 2008

Trans Fat Free

The dreaded onion debacle happened to me again. Why does McDonald's put onions on kid's cheese burgers and why can't I seem to remember that they do that?

I tried scraping off the onions to no avail and spent 10 minutes debating whether to stand in the long lunch line again as kids ran past me and stepped on my toes. That's when I no longer felt guilty for sneaking a sub sandwich into the play land for me. Sometimes I just can't eat the greasy, fried stuff.

That got me thinking, why hasn't McDonald's gotten rid of the trans fat in its food? Trans fat makes the food last longer and getting rid of it could change the taste.

Why are companies getting rid of this kind of fat? There is mounds of evidence that it builds plaque in your arteries and leads to heart disease. So does saturated fat, but trans fat is worse and seems to be the HOT new marketing technique.

I just finished a report on trans fat and I learned a lot that you, as a mom, should know. I went through a grocery store with a registered dietitian and we were both shocked when we really took the time to look at the nutrition labels.

We compared items with the bold "Og trans fat" on the front and the originals that contained trans fat. Most of the items with the big no trans fat marketing were just as bad for you, if not worse than the original versions.

Here are the facts:

  • Og of trans fat does mean the product is healthier
    • Trans fat free" does not necessarily mean no trans fat! Some products change the serving size to make the product have less than 0.5 g of trans fat (that's how low it has to be to say "Og trans fat")
    • Many products that say Og trans fat have added (sometimes doubled) the amount of calories and sugar
    • Trans fats can also be disguised as partially hydrogenated oils on the nutrition label
    • The products that have really become a healthier option will replace the trans fat with things like soybean oil, sunflower oil, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, olive oil, canola oil

      By the way, the McDonald's cheese burger has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, but a whopping 28 grams of saturated fat. Does this mean the company will soon be advertising their cheese burgers as trans fat free?

      See the McDonald's nutrition information for your favorite food items.

      Read about the campaign to eliminate trans fat in all food.

    Here's the video report I did on Trans fat marketing.(2:19)

      -NewsAnchorMom Jen


      Diane Vespa said...

      McDonalds, for whatever their reasons, has NOT removed transfats from their food. However, Wendy's has! Now we only eat at Wendy's, except on rare occassions. Here is a blog post I did a while back that you might find interesting.
      I look forward to reading your blog!

      PeoriaIllinoisan said...

      Wendy's... yes... I always order the Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and fries which always need extra salt.

      Good choice.

      Knight in Dragonland said...

      Why do they put onions on kids' hamburgers??? Most kids hate onions. When I make chili or burritos, I always have to make sure the onions are diced microscopically small and well caramelized so that my kids won't detect them!

      Slurms McCool said...

      As much as McDonald's likes to pretend it cares about consumers, all they care about is what makes them their cash $$. And trans fat is delicious.

      It's best to avoid greasy fast food as much as humanly possible.

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